Transparent Signal Flow (remove magic signal "headrooms")

Hello,
I have searched the forum first, and found other people suggest similar things, but I thought I would
put them all into this thread as they are related.

I am a Cubase user and under no illusions as to what Renoise is, and what Cubase is. I also
don’t expect Renoise to turn into Cubase. I love working in Cubase for recording and mixing
my more “serious” items, and love working in Renoise for fun with composing, tracking and experimentation.
Renoise is also very handy for use on a laptop - and working with a QWERTY keyboard.

I am basically a beginner with using Renoise - but it amazes me with the speed patterns can be
created with the keyboard alone - and before you know it, you can hear it playing. Long live the keyboard.

A big thank you to the team as well for the ReWire support. I was totally amazed and did not expect
the team to implement this at all - as I am very new to the forum. It is working fine with Cubase.

As I use Cubase for recording and mixing, I always leave headroom at every part, and Cubase allows
a signal to flow transparently - that is, the input -> output.

I would like Renoise to allow this too - I do not like the idea of Renoise automatically applying
a magic “create headroom” by appling gain to my signals. This is where I reference the existing
forum posts of “export is -6db quieter”. I’m not demanding the team switch to this idea, but I do
feel this should be a setting - to allow transparent signal flow, or keep the old way to keep existing
users happy.

Similar to this request, is the ability to choose interpolation in the sample editor. For example, if I have
a 48 Khz sample loaded in the sample editor and would like to convert it to 44.1 Khz via the sample editor,
I do not have an option to choose the interpolation - and it is my belief Cubic interpolation is used.
Please correct me if I am wrong - or inform me of any technical reasons why interpolation type cannot
be chosen here.

In this situation, I would like to be able to choose the interpolation - as sometimes, I believe arguru sinc
to be a better choice.

Off topic: the arguru sinc interpolation allows you to achieve very good results
when converting sample rate - and is in the range of Cubase 4 and upwards in terms of quality. It is not,
however, in the same league as Audition, Izotope SRC, r8brain PRO, SoX, WaveLab, Weiss etc - and neither should it be, those are standalone sample rate convertors. I listed them in alphabetical order, as they are all
excellent.

I understand I can easily use existing sample rate convertors prior to importing samples into renoise,
however, not everyone has these tools.

I would like to hear everyones opinion about this - and would love to see Renoise natively allow
a signal to flow transparently - instead of using workarounds (ps. I know Renoise uses 32bit float,
and the implications of that).

Other than that, I’m happy with Renoise 2.1, and will not cry if my suggestions are not implemented.

A big thanks to the Renoise team, thanks for your time.

It would be nice if you got the same volume when bouncing parts, which I didnt last time I tried (Havent tried in 2.1).

Does render also lower the volume? If so I agree that it would be better not to do that.

The auto-headroom toggle idea is shared by many.
If such checkbox should come, would it be preferred in the Render dialog, the Master track panel or the import/export preferences panel?

Sample conversion only applies rate and bitdepth conversion, no interpolation applied at all -> all samples are played with cubic interpolation. Arguru’s sinc is hardly playable realtime for most machines.
Allowing to apply interpolation modes is a nice idea though -> you can then figure out faster if resampling a sample with the interpolation method brings out a nicer sound or not.
(arguru’s sinc may also change the output-result of the sound in a very noticable way)

If I had the power to choose, I would want every instance when a render dialog comes up (selection, tracks, song, etc) to see an optional number box labeled “Normalize to”. Then you enter something in the range of -24 to 0db. If you choose not to use the number box no volume changes are made at all.

If you can predict in advance what the out-/throughput of a rendered selection will be, if i may be fair to say so, i suspect you and most others will eventually leave the DB feature alone (or always on 0db) and use the mixer to level the output, so would the amplification level adjustment really be a handy option or just a feature that is rarely touched?

Hmmm… I’d say rarely touched after you decide what type of output works best for you. It would be handy when rendering to disk to have the normalize to 0db option. Within a song I think (if I’m picturing this correctly) that I would enjoy knowing that if I had a set of rendered samples that all had the same “Normalize to” amount that the mixer settings would reflect the relative volumes of the loudest part of all of them. It would give me a little more information and help predict where I’ll need automations for example.

I tried to re-write that more understandably but failed. :unsure:

That is hard to predict, when using a gainer on the master and then turn on soft-clipping on the master track, you probably get the best results that you need.

To have all samples in the 0db area sounds comfortable. But what about the risk of loosing the dynamics of the sample? Specially with percussion samples, they have a high dynamic area and when normalizing and levelling, you might limit the dynamic range of the sample that the whole mix concept may sound dull. (no punch in the overall output)
You really have to know pretty well what you are doing when using those options.

Also a kick-drum normalized to 0db sounds a lot more quiet than a 0db normalized string sample because their dynamics differ so dramatically:mix-wise you have to balance these tracks anyway and that was actually the point i was aiming at.

There’s nothing wrong with the idea of toggling head-room on/off on the master-out or toggle on/off for all tracks at the same time, but a selective range of tracks on and a selective range of tracks off makes no sense to me in the long term…It would spoil the hours of mixing-time spend to balance all these tracks to eachother. But that’s just my humble opinion, perhaps i look at it from a wrong corner.

Hello,
Personally, my vote would be for a boolean global option in the preferences dialog - along the lines of

“Summing: Transparent signal flow” - the current way would be false,
or “Summing: Unity gain” - again, current would be false,
or “Summing: Apply magic headroom” - this would be true currently.

This way, it will be applied everywhere - mixer, sample editor, rendering.

And with choosing arguru interpolation in the sample editor - my vote would be for a drop down
in the standard “Convert” dialog.

Have a good night

it shouldn’t be the job of renoise to protect us from renders clipping.

After thinking about it a little more, I take back the normalize idea and would much prefer a straight no adjustments render in all cases.